Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moroccan Salafists whip up antisemitism

With thanks: Michelle
Morocco is not immune to the anti-US demonstrations sweeping the Arab world in the wake of the anti-Islam video clip released on Youtube. A Moroccan-Israeli living in Essaouira, Noam Nir, who blogs at The King and I, was 'verbally abused' in an increasingly antisemitic atmosphere. 
    A Salafist demonstration in Agadir. The media and Jewish leadership are playing down their presence in Morocco
Noam Nir writes:

"Earlier this evening I was verbally assaulted by a 15-16 years old boy just in front of the Atia synagogue in the Medina (old city) of Essaouira. While standing at the door after visiting Haim Aizenkot (Pinto) - who lives in terrible conditions - one of the boys playing football cursed the Jews ("F**K les juifs"). One thing led to another and before long 20 people surrounded us. I engaged with him. Things calmed down and I left. Apparently the youngster followed me 200 m, and asked me for forgiveness. Maybe someone told him something and that is why he followed me, who knows. I looked at him straight into his regretful eyes, smiled, and said: "Musamikha, hiya li kayna" ("Forgiveness is what we have" a local saying for reconciliation after a quarrel). I tapped him on the shoulder and shook his hand. Then the boy and his friends turned back to their neighborhood.

"This local incident could happen only in an antisemitic atmosphere, exactly the kind that followed the video (mistakenly attributed to Jews)  that according to Muslims offended their prophet.

"A wave of antisemitism is sweeping the kingdom. This wave has risen with the help of couple of hundred Salafists who in the past expressed their antisemitic agenda."

Noam Nir goes on to criticise the Moroccan media for failing to correct the impression that a Jew made the anti-Islam video which sparked protests and unrest across the Arab world.

He also criticises the Jewish community leader, Serge Berdugo, for playing down the importance of the resurgent Salafists, who are now leading the Morccan government with the king's blessing. Failing to condemn Salafist antisemitism will only sow the seeds of hatred in future generations.

  Read post in full

*Tunisian Salafists threaten imams who visited Tunisian synagogue: Speaking of Salafists, some 7,000 returned to Tunisia from exile in France. 'Moderate' French-based imam Hassen Chalghoumi told MEMRI: "On January 25 this year, I was at the synagogue in Tunis, along with 40 imams of different origins: from Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. The Jewish community in Tunis was terrified. They said that it was the first time since the revolution that non-Jews had entered the synagogue. We, as imams, were in peril [because of our visit] there. This was not easy for us. Fortunately, we had police protection."


Sylvia said...

Al Adl wal Ihsan's founder Abdessalam Yacine is a rabid antisemite even though he was a highly educated man. So what do you expect from the followers?

Everytime I think of that leader I think of the example of the Rif (Rabbi Yitzhak Al Fassi) Lehavdil who lived in the 11th century, and of the unpredictable consequences of nepotism.

When the Rif chose a spiritual successor for his Yeshiva, he didn't choose his biological son as practiced then and in our days, he chose Ibn Migash, his student, some say to avoid appearance of favoritism, although Ibn Migash turned out to be a scholar of high caliber of his own right.

Perhaps if the Head of the Zaouia (Sufi)where Yacine was a disciple had followed that example, history would have been different. But the Head of the Zaouia chose his own son as his successor on his deathbed instead of Yacine, who became naturally bitter as everybody agreed that he was highly qualified and he became a professional rebel and a fundamentalist, a far cry from Sufism.

Sylvia said...

This is a lot of courage from Noam Nir but not all attacks have the same character or are only verbal.

In those circumstances one must: prepare for the worst case scenario - an escape route (through the rooftop or a window to a back alley), avoid Jewish symbols (kippah particularly in the vicinity of a synagogue).

On the other hand, I think you're handling beautifully verbal attacks by dealing with them calmly and politely.

Empress Trudy said...

There are what? 2,500 souls left in Morocco? 10 plane loads. Time to leave before they make you. The next move will be pogroms while the 'police' who if they ever show up at all will stand by and watch it.